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2017.10.03 Strong summer sales for independent US bookstores
Publishers Weekly (PW) reported on September 8, 2017, that summer sales have been strong at many independent bookstores across the United States. Bookstores predict that the trend will continue into autumn, and some are forecasting a ‘double-digit increase’ in their annual sales compared to last year.

Independent bookstore owners describe certain improvements they have made as contributing factors to the increased sales. For example, some added outdoor patios so that customers would have the space to relax over coffee and snacks. Other efforts to bring in customers on a regular basis included hosting events for self-publishing authors. A Penguin Bookshop store manager told how she took advantage of support from publishers; for example, receiving six signed first editions of Rick Riordan, she ‘personally called five [regular] customers’ and was successful not only in bringing them into the store but also in having them purchase other books. 

The top three selling books at these independent bookstores this past summer were: ‘Camino Island’ by John Grisham; ‘The Woman in Cabin 10’ by Ruth Ware; and ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio. PW’s article also identified ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ by Amor Towles and ‘News of the World’ by Paulette Jiles as being attractive to customers.

Meanwhile in Japan, Nippan recently announced the bestselling books in Japan for August 2017. The top three books on the list were: ‘Zoku Zan-nen na Ikimono Jiten (Encyclopedia of Unfortunate Animals 2)’; ‘Zan-nen na Ikimono (Encyclopedia of Unfortunate Animals)’; and ‘Oshiri Tantei – Iseki kara no SOS (Detective Buttocks: SOS from the Ruins)’, all three of which are children’s books. Asahi Shimbun Digital (September 12, 2017) reported that although publishers traditionally release popular children’s books in time for the summer holidays, it was unusual for this genre to rank in the top three. Asahi Shimbun’s article says that this reflects how ‘Education-conscious mothers now have power over their finances’ and ‘consumers are heavily influenced by social media, meaning books can become popular very quickly’.

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